Benitez: Madrid great for 78 minutes…

Rafa Benitez felt Real Madrid played very well against Shakhtar Donetsk – for 78 minutes, before the Ukrainians got back into the tie.

Madrid went from comfortable at 4-0 to hanging on at 4-3, eventually sealing the win and with it top spot in Group A.

“You have to balance many things and there’s a lot of weight on getting to first in the group and the game we played for 78 minutes,” Benitez said, AS reports.

“From then it’s clear we have to better manage the game. You can’t allow a penalty or a goal from a corner. We put them back into the game.

“At 4-0 you think the game is over. The minutes in which we made those mistakes are ones we need to be able to handle.

“I’m more satisfied with the first 78 minutes. We played a great game until we made the mistake for the penalty and the corner. It changed everything, they got into the game and took confidence.

“But we shouldn’t forget we’re first in the group, we scored four goals and played a great game. I leave with a positive feeling, and to analyse those final minutes to avoid mistakes.”

The game came days after Madrid were routed at home in the Clasico by Barcelona, and Benitez commended his players for their reaction.

“It could have been another type of game. After the Clasico we responded well and it seems positive to me,” he said.

“We made two mistakes in concentration, though I don’t know if it was a penalty. Two mistakes and they’re in. I want to stay positive and will analyse the errors. There was great work from all the players.

“We needed to increase the competitiveness [in the squad]. I looked for personality and players in a good condition.

“My team attacks and scores goals. That’s my style. To score four goals is the Madrid style.

“We played with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale changing positions. I don’t want to talk about individuals. I want to emphasize everyone, everyone contributed.”

Tags Rafa Benitez